‘Little Dragon Cafe’ is the ‘Harvest Moon’ successor we needed: Review

'' Little Dragon Cafe ' is doing The Most all the time
Image: aksys video games

What specifies the heart-warming yet addicting happiness of Harvest Moon!.?.!?

Some may indicate its farming sim aspect, which bore better and brand-new versions in later video games like Stardew Valley and Battle Chef Brigade. Or perhaps it was more the long-lasting accessory you establish to townspeople by developing a neighborhood, which you can now get in Animal Crossing.

But Little Dragon Cafe, the very first brand-new IP from among the initial developers of Harvest Moon, Yasuhiro Wada, brings something else to the table that just the OG life simulator can: a sense of pure love and relationship.

Sure, Animal Crossing is offered on the concept of relationship. The real mechanics of those video games feel quite negative, with a transactional view of how relationships are developed and preserved. It nearly specifically focuses on you offering and doing errands product presents to each other.

But there is an untainted genuineness to the relationships embedded into both the story and gameplay of Little Dragon Cafe. You play as one of 2 twins who need to run the household coffee shop on their own for the very first time after their mom falls inexplicably ill one day.

An odd old male by the name of “Pappy,” the very first of numerous wonderfully unusual characters in the video game, inexplicably appears. Due to the fact that your mother is half dragon and half human (surprise!), he discusses it’s, so something about her 2 various blood types isn’t jiving together.

The only method to conserve her is to raise an infant dragon, while handling the duties of running a coffee shop as an actual kid.

You understand, life things.

This odd juxtaposition in between daily issues, individuals, relationships and completely unusual supernatural silliness is specifically what provides Little Dragon Cafe its indisputable beauty.

A pattern emerges throughout your in-game days as a coffee shop owner/freelance dragon mother. The standard loop of the day/night cycle has you splitting time in between event active ingredients by checking out the world (frequently with the aid of your dragon), and after that assisting your personnel serve the town grub throughout its busiest hours.

Pappy is sassy AF

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The dragon grows as the story advances, acquiring you access to various parts of the environment in addition to brand-new components and dishes. The most you can do in regards to affecting the dragon, however, is offering it specific foods to alter the color of its scales.

At the coffee shop, your chef prepares meals ranked in deliciousness based upon how effective you are at the rhythm video game. There’s a Diner Dash aspect of taking orders, serving, and tidying up after clients.

While both mini-game aspects are enjoyable enough in themselves, the contrast to Diner Dash is most likely a little too generous. This is a far more shallow technique to those mechanics. Rather of managing consumers requires through mindful time management, Little Dragon Cafe‘s dining establishment is simply type of open-ended turmoil, without any meters or signs for consumer fulfillment.

I discovered the majority of my failures to serve consumers boiled down to getting stuck behind furnishings and attempting not to encounter my personnel, which is discouraging. By the end, I understood it didn’t even actually matter however due to the fact that if you overlook consumer complete satisfaction score, the video game naturally advances anyhow.

There’s a great deal of these nit particular inconveniences throughout Little Dragon Cafe. It does not describe itself or its mechanics effectively, and you can get stuck in the story due to the fact that of it.

The whole of the experience is still unquestionably worth your time. You can inform it’s the very first version on an excellent concept. It does not have the resources of a recognized IP like Harvest Moon.

I called my dragon after my pet dog, undoubtedly

Image: AKSYS GAMES

For example: Despite the townsfolk being the centerpiece of the story, the town itself is empty. No homes, nobody walking (unless they’re going to the coffee shop), no stores. There’s likewise no passage of time to assist develop that sensation of long-lasting dedication, which something like an addition of seasons would’ve repaired.

Yet these grievances feel routine in the grand plan of what the video game uses.

Like the majority of its equivalents (Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing), the grind of the everyday regimen can get a bit tiresome. Not almost as quick as the others considering that, unlike them, Little Dragon Cafe really links that labor you do to significant stories with pleasing conclusions.

Each everyday grind is moved by the arcs of characters who, on top of being the wildest individuals possible, change through the power of relationship and food. Speak about relatable.

These characters, who all entered your cafe/inn with some sort of core concern (once again, each wilder than the last), are the body and soul of Little Dragon Cafe. They’re unlike any other NPCs you’ve ever satisfied in the past, with issues varying from quelched vampire youth memories to anxiety from having actually lost your mom to health problem.

Luccola is the incredible chef who has the self-confidence of RuPaul

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Each character’s chapter involves cutscenes where you learn more about them much better, discover their favored meals, and ultimately end with you searching down a brand-new dish connected to their psychological concerns. You ‘d believe this would get old after a couple of times. You ‘d require to be dead inside to not discover them all strangely touching.

In summary: Little Dragon Cafe resembles if Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, Cooking Mama, and Diner Dash all took LSD together prior to hugging it out. I indicate, what’s not to enjoy in a video game where you can fly around on a dragon, gather miso spice from bushes, then put it into a meal for an uppity witch who dislikes people and sleeps in the bed room above your coffee shop?

Little Dragon Cafe eventually teaches you to appreciate the power of supporting individuals around you, constructing a household that’s everything about approval, and challenging your most difficult issues together.

It’s whatever you ‘d wish to fill the Harvest Moon– formed hole in your heart.

You can play Little Dragon Cafe now on either Nintendo Switch or PS4.

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